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It is now our pleasant privilege to recount the items of the career of the prominent and capable gentleman whose name initiates this paragraph, who is to-day one of the leading men in Malheur county, being not only crowned with abundant financial success as the result of his industry and wise management of the resources that came to his hands, but also a man of prominence in educational lines in younger days, and at the present time a fluent public speaker and well informed man of ability and culture.
Gilbert L. was born in Jefferson County, New York, on February 9, 1848, being the son of Lorenzo D. and Julia Ann (Schryver) King. While a child he came with his parents to Dodge county, Wisconsin, and grew up there on the frontier, gaining his education at first from the common schools and thorough reading. On February 4, 1864 patriotism stirred young King to offer his services in the Third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company G, being the Twentieth Corps, under Joe Hooker, a part of Sherman’s Army. He participated in the battle of Resaea and in several skirmishes, being wounded in his leg. In July 1865, he was honorably discharged and returned to Wisconsin, thence to Mason county, Illinois, where he taught school for a time. In 1869 he went to Webster City, Iowa and engaged in the grocery business, but sold out in 1879 and repaired to Bloomington, Illinois, where he took a course of two years in the state normal school. He then taught school in McLean County, the same state, and in 1874 he went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad Company, having also labored for them some previous to 1869. He had mastered telegraphy in his course at the normal and from 1874 until 1897 he was in the service of this company at various places on their line as station agent. He came to Ontario in 1885, being the first agent here, and in this position he remained until 1897, when he resigned and removed on to his farm, a rich tract of land adjoining the town on the west. It is one of the best in the county, has a fine house, twenty-acre orchard of all varieties of fruit indigenous to this section, and supplied with plenty of water for irrigating purposes. Mr. King has a large band of cattle. In 1899 he opened a real estate and insurance office in the town of Ontario, and he does a good business now in these lines, handling a number of the leading companies. He is also secretary and stock-holder in the Nevada and Owyhee ditch companies. Mr. King commenced life with no capital in finances, but with good ability and a resolute purpose to succeed, and he has done so in an admirable manner, both in financial enterprise, being possessed of much wealth, and also in maintaining an untarnished reputation throughout his busy career, being also highly respected and esteemed by all who know him.
The marriage of Mr. King and Miss Isabella Easton occurred on September 14, 1875, in Hall county, Nebraska. They have six children: Edward L., Arthur S., Ira N., Edna L., Alice, Homer G. Mr. King is a past master and member of the Acacia Lodge, No. 118 of the A. F. A. M., of Ontario and has represented his order in the grand lodge; he also belongs to the Eastern Star. In politics Mr. King is a Republican and often his eloquence is heard on the platform in political contests.